I was very interested to read Mr Justice Walls’ comments on the impact of parents at war on their children. He takes the view that parents need to think more about the effect on their children of ongoing hostility between the adults. I think most people would agree with that. The difficulty is when one parent wants to come to a reasonable agreement about contact and the other doesn’t.
Shared parenting is the term usually given to a post-separation or divorce arrangement in which children will spend their time more or less evenly with both parents. Generally this will mean the child spending this time at each parent’s home, but in one arrangement, known as ‘birds nest custody’ the children remain in one home and the parents alternate.
Jennifer Edwards, sexual and relationship therapist, has been working with couples and individuals for more than 20 yrs. Jennifer gives us the inside story on IVF. Every year thousands of couples in the UK seek IVF treatment through the NHS and in the private sector. The majority of them are over 35 years old. For perhaps 75% of these couples, IVF will fail to deliver the much longed for child.
When families split up, initially it can be an overlooked or at least daunting task to envisage what would happen regarding seeing your kids for all the different events that may happen over a year. Initially you might get an agreement between the two of you for alternate weekends, if other things are more pressing, that may be all that is agreed on, in the beginning.
It wont take you long to start thinking about other times and maybe top of the list for most is going to be xmas, but even if you take birthdays, bonfire night grandmas birthday plus all the others, it may becomes evident that one parent is going to want the lions share.
Telling children that you are splitting up is painful and difficult. You may have already worked your way along the difficult path to the decision to separate or divorce. Your children are only just starting out on a journey that you may have more or less completed. It will often come as a great shock to them, even if they have already suspected that it might happen.
Annie is just 24 months old, she is doing well and has started to attend nursery for the first time. This new world, which she skips into every Friday morning, is widening her experience and challenging her internalised world. From her mother and her father, to the wider world of other children and other adults, Annie is coping with the change and skipping over the transition bridge on a regular basis.
Parenting after separation can be a daunting prospect, whether you are facing parenting entirely on your own, or alternating with the other parent. You may be worried about loneliness, financial worries, social isolation, making decisions on your own about your children’s welfare, what happens if a child is seriously ill, trying to juggle work, children and running the house on your own, what happens if you’re ill or late home from work, for example.
It’s really stressful facing your first Christmas alone. Perhaps, you like me, are finding that you have had 20 years of family Christmases with tinsel and turkey, kids unwrapping their pressies in pyjamas with the Carols singing out on the stereo, the log fire blazing and a full house brimming with family.